Title: Captain Marvel
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Music: Pinar Toprak
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Samuel L. Jackson
Algenis Perez Soto
Glass ceiling is meant to break, Marvel Universe’s first female superhero picture CAPTAIN MARVEL, following suit of DC Comics’ WONDER WOMAN, takes audience back into the ‘90s with fulsome nostalgia. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, hailed from indie film-making background, their ship finally comes in with their fifth feature.
As a superhero’s origin story, CAPTAIN MARVEL briskly commences in medias res, our heroine Vers (Larson), a human-looking Kree warrior living in a futuristic planet of Hala, mentored by Yon-Rogg (Law), starts to be troubled by disjecta membra in her mind which she has no recollection of, including an older woman, who also appears as the image of the Supreme Intelligence (Kree’s A.I. ruler) to her eyes (Yon-Rogg dwells on that the Supreme Intelligence’s physical form varies from individual to individual predicated upon each individual’s unique connection with the said form, an explication sounds pretty inopportune, because Vers is not a newcomer on that planet, only to serve as an arid narrative device to its 3D-glass equipped spectators), thus, why doesn’t Vers feel bamboozled that a totally stranger woman is her Supreme Intelligence?
Or maybe she does, but the movie never touch on that issue of logic (like many other superhero fares before it), even when her true provenance starts to emerge after being captured by Kree’s rival Skrull people (a shape-shifting race) during a mission, then fortuitously parachutes onto our planet in the earthling’s year of 1995, quickly befriends with a young Nick Fury (Jackson) and his sidekick Phil Coulson (Gregg), both convincingly digitally de-aged (a grand promise that in future, no need to cast different actors to play the same adult character spanning several decades, one will do all the tricks), with a posse of Skrull on her tail, led by Talos (Mendelsohn).
On planet earth, Vers learns about that she is actually a human named Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot presumed dead in a crash 6 years ago, and the aforementioned woman is her superior Dr. Wendy Lawson, aka. Mar-Vell (Bening, graceful, inscrutable and imperious all in one combo), who is in fact an undercover Kree feels sympathetic toward the Skrull, who are uprooted and persecuted by Krees, when Mar-Vell is dispatched by Yon-Rogg, Carol accidentally absorbs all the energy core which endows her superpower but also obliterates her memory, she is then snatched by Yon-Rogg to Hala.
Carol’s homecoming journey entails a reunion with her best friend, fellow pilot Maria Rambeau (Lynch, next black female hero waiting in line), a single mother with a young girl, female bonds are indissoluble. After mending fences with the Skrulls, Carol finally embraces her true identity and emancipates from the crutches of Kree’s Supreme Intelligence, and single-handed thwarts an invasion lead by Kree official Ronan the Accuser (Pace), the most arousing, empowering feeling of heroism emanated by probably the strongest, most omnipotent superhero ever in Marvel Universe, Thanos will finally meet a worthy rival, the connection to the upcoming AVENGERS: ENDGAME is forthright and our wait will not be too long.
Brie Larson makes a fine heroine in all aspects, if nothing too spectacular, a modicum of gumption, a poise of mettle and an air of bonhomie goes a long way. Both Samuel L. Jackson and Jude Law vigorously take the second fiddler as the unlikely partner and the unexpected enemy respectively, and that creature named goose is arguably the biggest boon who deserves its own picture and this reviewer is totally on board with.
In the event, CAPTAIN MARVEL, like WONDER WOMAN and BLACK PANTHER, is possibly the best version we can get from comic books’ geocentric, airy-fairy nature and over-familiar narrative template, squeaky clean in expelling any romantic tingle and comes forth as a standard-bearer of our ethos, still, its “human brain is the most powerful weapon in the universe” tenor is too self-congratulatory in a vast galaxy proffers ceaseless inspirations for a tiny human brain’s imagination.